When Alina’s brother-in-law defects to the West, she and her husband become persons of interest to the secret services, causing both of their careers to come grinding to a halt.
As the strain takes its toll on their marriage, Alina turns to her aunt for help – the wife of a communist leader and a secret practitioner of the old folk ways.
Set in 1970s communist Romania, Sophie van Llewyn’s novella-in-flash draws upon magic realism to weave a tale of everyday troubles, that can’t be put down.
A story to savour, to smile at, to rage against and to weep over
Zoe Gilbert, author of Folk
The prose is tight, witty, vivid and atmospheric […] Every word on the page pulls its weight
Sophie van Llewyn’s stunning debut novella shows us there is no dystopian fiction as frightening as that which draws on history
Christina Dalcher, author of VOX
Sophie van Llewyn is a Romanian-born author of short stories, flash fiction and, most recently, a novella Bottled Goods. Sophie grew up in Tulcea, south-east Romania, close to the Danube delta. As a child, she used to spend her summer holidays at her grandparents’ home at the seaside in Constanta. Sophie started writing when she was in fifth grade, and even won a third place at a country-level short story competition. Sophie was also editor-in-chief at her school’s newspaper. Now living in Germany, Sophie picked up her writing again while on maternity leave from her day job. It is then that she discovered flash fiction. Trying her hand at short fiction, reading it intensely, doing workshops with other gifted writers helped her improve her writing and editing techniques.